Voice/Vision Holocaust Survivor Oral History Archive

Maurice Chandler - October 3, 1993

Visiting Old Neighbor II

Not a Jew?

No, no, she wasn't Jewish.

So, your mother had a best friend who was not Jewish?

That's right. Our neighbor, you know he was, he was a veteran and he had the monopoly on the, uh...

Right, you told me--remember the alcohol.

Yeah, so, there was sort of like a better class people and while they were--deep down they were very Catholic and probably anti-Semitic, but the person that you know was different, you know...


...all the other Jews are bad but, you know, only Chava--Chava was my mother's name--only Chava was a fine lady, you know. So, I came in '43 and I walked in Nasielsk. I remember the sidewalks had the cemetery stones--paved the sidewalks with, with the Hebrew lettering to the surface in Nasielsk. They took uh, all of the stones and paved them for the sidewalks--not all of them--a few sidewalks I remember seeing. I asked where the Wyszkowski's lived--by that time they weren't in the building where they lived next door to us--and they told me that uh, she lives in a village not far outside. So, I made my way there. I come in--it was an afternoon, just before the holiday of Easter--knock on the door, she comes to the door, and says, "What do you want?" didn't recognize me, you know, by that time I've grown up, you know, I was a little boy. She had a son my age, and she says, "What, what can I do for you?" She was ironing, I remember. I said, "Mrs. Wyszkowski, do you know who I am?" She says, " No, who are you?" I said, "I'm Chava's son". She says, "What?" I says, "Yes, Chava's son." So, she runs to the window, she closes the doors, she closes the curtains, says, "Anybody chasing you?" I said, "No, nobody's chasing me." I said, "Don't worry. Do not have any fear." She says, "How are you surviving? Where are you going? What's doing? What's gonna be? How did you find me?" and you know, she was frightened. I said, "Don't be frightened." I says, "I live on a farm very far from here." And I said, "I want you--I came here strictly for one favor." I says, "I want you to write me a postcard once a month to this address, addressed, "Dear Cousin, ???" And I said, "Write me, you know, little stories about cousin so and so, cousin so and so" and I said, "in turn, I'll send you a package every month of whatever you want. You want kielbasa, you want meats from the village, I'll send it to you." I said, "This will be our deal." So, she says. "Fine." She says, "But leave," she says, "I'm afraid." you know, this and that, and I said, "I'll leave." Then I said to her--I mean I really had chutzpah, I said, "I would like to while I'm in town..." my grandfather had a Polish uh, shoemaker who used to, you know, Mr. Tomczynski you know, used to be his friend, you know, friend, you know, they were like the same age and, you know, sort of the hoi polloi of the city. He had wholesale boots--he used to sell big riding boots and the farmer's boots, you know, they were making it--they had a big family and they knew us and a lot of our stuff, you know, from the store was given to them for hiding, you know, we emptied out all our stores. We gave the Wyszkowskis and the Tomczynskis we gave them our stuff to hide if we ever come back.

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